North Korean satellite rocket 'Paektusan I,' is test launched in an undisclosed facility somewhere in North Hamgyong Province, North Korea (news - web sites) in this August 31, 1998 photo released by Korea News Service. Top U.S. officials confirmed that N
WASHINGTON (AP) - North Korea has an untested ballistic missile capable of reaching the western United States, intelligence officials said Wednesday.
The North Korean missile is a three-stage version of the Taepo Dong 2, said Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. It has not been flight-tested, Jacoby said, leaving some questions about the North Korea's capability to successfully launch the missile.
CIA Director George J. Tenet, who joined Jacoby in briefing the Senate Armed Services Committee, also acknowledged the North Koreans have the capability to reach the western United States with a long-range missile.
Previous U.S. intelligence reports have said such a missile probably could carry a nuclear weapon-sized payload across the Pacific Ocean.